Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

More Sports

Mystery Surrounds Death of LPGA Player Erica Blasberg

Police are investigating the death of one of professional golf's young rising stars, whose body was discovered Sunday afternoon in her suburban Las Vegas home.

Police in Henderson, Nev., found Erica Blasberg's body inside her three-bedroom home at 3 p.m. on Sunday after responding to a 911 call. A 25-year-old native of Southern California, Blasberg was in her sixth season on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour. 

No cause of death has been disclosed and it's not immediately clear if foul play was involved, said Henderson Police Department spokesman Keith Paul. 

Blasberg's father, Mel, had told the Riverside Press-Enterprise in California that his daughter may have committed suicide. But in an interview with FoxNews.com on Tuesday, he said the circumstances surrounding his daughter's death "don't add up."

Blasberg, of Corona, Calif., said his daughter, who had just returned from the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico, was in high spirits in recent weeks.  

"It doesn't add up, knowing how excited she was about playing," he said. "She was at the prime of her life and in a career she loved."

Blasberg lived alone in her home, which she purchased three years ago. Her father said authorities told him that the 911 call was made by a local male golfer; the police have not released the caller's identity. 

Blasberg said his daughter had been planning to travel to Alabama on Saturday to compete in Monday's qualifying event for this week's LPGA tournament in Mobile. He said he last saw Erica on Thursday, when he visited her home, and that "she couldn't have been more up." Her bags were packed inside her car, he said.

Blasberg's dedication to her sport was commendable, her father said, noting that the young pro would attend practices and tournaments even when ill.

"Never ever has Erica not gone to an event -- amateur or professional -- even if she were deathly sick," Blasberg said.

"This is a horrible story about a wonderful girl and we need answers," he added. "As a professional golfer, you have your ups and downs, but Erica was intrigued by the challenge."  

In her five years as a professional golfer, Blasberg posted four top-10s in eight starts on the Duramed Futures Tour, including a victory at the Lacona Savings Bank Futures Golf Classic. She qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2005. 

In her only start this season, Blasberg tied for 44th two weeks ago at the Tres Marias Championship.

"To most of the world, Erica was known as a professional golfer, but she was more than that," her agent, Chase Callahan, said in a statement posted on the LPGA website. 

"She was a loving daughter to her parents and a compassionate and loyal friend. Erica had a good heart, was extremely kind and very thankful for what she had in her life," he said. "She lived out her dream of playing professional golf on the highest level on the LPGA Tour, allowing her to help inspire others. We are proud of Erica for everything she accomplished.

LPGA spokesman David Higdon called Blasberg's death a "tough hit" for women's golf.

"She was a very popular player and well-liked and we're going to miss her," Higdon said. "This is a very close-knit group of players and tour and we're saddened by what happened."

Greg Allen, Blasberg's former coach at the University of Arizona, recalled a fiery competitor whom the Wildcats affectionately called "Skip." When Blasberg showed up to her first workout as a freshman in 2002, the team trainer asked the team to warm up by skipping around the track, and Blasberg didn’t know how to skip.

"Every kid in America knows how to skip," Allen said. "We stuck that name on her."

He noted that it was hard for anyone to "get close to Skip."

Blasberg won six college tournaments in two years. She was named Golfweek's 2003 Player of the Year after finishing the season No. 1 in the rankings. She also was 2003 NGCA Freshman of the Year, Pac-10 Player of the Year and competed on the victorious 2004 Curtis Cup team.

While Blasberg never made the professional splash she hoped for, she did enjoy her stint as the face of Puma Golf, appearing in a television commercial. She also represented Cleveland Golf and Casio.

"She was part of our family for two years," Allen said. "I can't believe she's gone."

Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy told FoxNews.com that an official cause of death will not be released for another four to six weeks.

Fox Sports and the Associated Press contributed to this report